Coca-Cola was invented in 1886 by a pharmacist named John Pemberton, who originally sold the beverage not as a refreshing drink, but as a rejuvenating nerve tonic. If every Coca-Cola bottle ever manufactured were laid opening to bottom, they would form a chain that stretched to the moon and back nearly 1,700 times. Reducing some of the environmental impact of all those bottles, Coca-Cola became the first company to use recycled material in manufacturing its bottles in 1991.
One of the most infamous facts about Coca-Cola is that the drink originally contained cocaine. In fact, until 1903, the beverage did actually contain the stimulant drug. However, an average serving of Coca-Cola at the time contained only a very small amount, around 9 milligrams, of cocaine. At the time, cocaine was not illegal or even controlled, as its harmful and addictive properties were not yet fully understood.
Coca-Cola's recipe is one of the most closely guarded industrial secrets in the world. The company is so concerned with keeping the recipe a trade secret that, unlike competitors, it produces concentrated Coca-Cola at its central manufacturing plant and then ships it to bottlers across the globe to avoid even disseminating the recipe internally.
During the Cold War, Coca-Cola was strongly associated with the United States and, by extension, capitalism. As a result, Coca-Cola was not sold in most communist countries. While the Cold War is long over, two communist nations, Cuba and North Korea, remain the only places on Earth where Coca-Cola remains unavailable.